The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT), a leader in providing high-level science and technology education to religiously observant students in Israel and worldwide, have announced the 2021 recipient of an annual scholarship for outstanding computer or engineering students.
Atara Benovitz, 21, a third-year industrial engineering student at JCT’s Tal Campus for women, is the third recipient of the Rozalie Schachter Scholarship. Launched in 2019, the $3,000 scholarship towards tuition fees is being awarded to one Tal Campus student through 2028. Eligible recipients are students who achieve an average score of over 90 in their studies.
The prize is named after the late Dr. Rozalie Schachter, the daughter of Satmar Chassidim, who immigrated to the U.S. from Romania at age 16, obtained a Ph.D. in Physics from New York University (NYU), and became a trailblazer for women in the fields of technology and business. Schachter served as vice president of strategic initiatives at Herley Industries and vice president of business development at General Microwave Corporation, among other senior roles.
Benovitz — a native of Woodmere, N.Y., whose family made Aliyah to Beit Shemesh early in her life — was drawn to JCT by the institution’s religiously sensitive environment on campus, and particularly the ability to study on an all-women’s campus. Benovitz said she is fascinated by the field of aviation, which is a common profession for industrial engineers, but as of now is keeping her career options open.
“Receiving this scholarship motivates me to take my studies to the next level and prove that I am worthy of the award,” said Benovitz. “The support will help set me up for success not only in my career, but in my entire adult life in Israel, where average salaries in most fields are lower than they are in the U.S. I am also grateful for the opportunity to study at the Tal Campus, where my professors are highly approachable and promote my growth. Thanks to my JCT experience, I am extremely hopeful for my future in Israel’s society and workforce.”
When Schachter settled in Brooklyn upon moving to America, she studied at the Beis Yaakov school for girls in Borough Park and became interested in the fields of science and math. When she finished high school, the Satmar Rebbe gave her a blessing to attend college in order to follow her dreams in physics and the sciences. In the 1960s, her completion of a Ph.D. in solid-state physics at NYU was considered an anomaly not only for an Orthodox Jewish woman with children, but for all American women at the time.
“The annual Rozalie Schachter Scholarship represents a key manifestation of JCT’s mission to empower women and all students to embark on a balanced, well-rounded lifestyle that is guided by their Jewish, family, and career values,” said JCT board member and President emeritus Aurora Cassirer. “Rozalie uniquely pursued this ambitious path, holding herself to a standard of excellence in all areas of life. She continues to serve as an inspiration to the outstanding students at our Tal Campus.”
Established in 1990, JCT’s Tal Campus is Israel’s first women-only engineering and technology college. The campus serves approximately 2,000 women from across the spectrum of the religiously observant community, including Modern Orthodox, National Religious, Haredi, and Hassidic women. The Tal Campus provides women the opportunity to pursue advanced undergraduate or graduate studies alongside a comprehensive Jewish studies program.
JCT is about to embark on the construction of the new Tal Campus, which will be located in Emek Zion, adjacent to the College’s Lev Campus for men. Currently, the Tal Campus is housed in rented space in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul neighborhood and is unable to accommodate JCT’s surging demand for women’s enrollment. The new state-of-the-art women’s campus will house the College’s Nursing School as well as Departments of Computer Engineering, Electro-Optic Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Accounting, Management, and Business. The campus will also include the institution’s pre-academic (mechina) program and graduate programs.
Tal Campus alumni have a job placement rate of over 90 percent in their field of study and are readily employed by leading firms and startups such as Intel, Texas Instruments, Check Point, and IBM, among others. Following their studies, many graduates continue to pursue advanced academic careers and others are involved in top R&D projects for Israel’s defense industry.
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